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Friday, December 17, 2010

A blog break is obviously in order

My sporadic posting is definitely a sign that I need to take a small blogging break.  I promise to come back fresh and new after the holidays.

I promise to enlighten you with all of our numerous holiday adventures that usually include up to four Christmases, a sprinkle of Prozac and a large quantity of alcohol.

Of course, Lessons from the Lunch lady will make her triumphant return come January.

Once 2010 is wrapped up and stuffed under the tree, I will return with my 2011 goals and give you an update on that 50,000 word novel I wrote in November.

I'm also hard at work thinking up some other recurring columns that we can toss around in the new year.

Till then my friends--Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  I miss you all and promise to virtually visit real soon.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Stupid Stuffing Balls and other useless information

I, like usual, am behind on my life.

I am certain that I have been late to everything for more than a week.

Today was our Christmas holiday meal at work and I could barely muster up enough energy to dress like Santa and serve the kids the same thing I served them at Thanksgiving.

Stupid Stuffing Balls.

I don't want to see gravy for at least a month.

That being said I'm still not completely done Christmas shopping.  I still have to find something for my husband.  I have very little wrapped.  I have unfinished craft projects.

I'm celebrating with my mom and step dad this weekend and I can't remember where I hid their presents.

I really need a day off.
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Angsty

Things that make me feel angsty (ie: fear, anxiety, rage)

  1. Kids who don't have winter coats.  We live in Pennsylvania.  This is NOT acceptable.  Talk to your social worker.  Visit a clothing bank.   Sign up for an angel tree gift.  Ask the cafeteria staff.  They are softies.
  2. Parents who don't get their children off the bus.  Seriously?  It's one thing to have a lazy elf on a shelf who forgets to relocate.  It's a whole other thing to completely fail to get your five year old off the bus.
  3. 500 students signed up for Christmas help.  I think I'm sad because I can only help 3.  I think I'm fearful because there may be some without help. On the list of one of my three?  A coat.
  4. Cheese sandwiches.  Unpaid cafeteria bills result in cheese sandwiches.

What is eating you?
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An open letter to Max, our elf on the shelf

Dear Max,

Are you not feeling well?  Have you forgotten your purpose?

You are supposed to relocate every night.  You are supposed to be in a new spot every  morning.  You spy on my family and you report back to Santa.  This isn't a hard job.

Why have you been failing at your only job?

The book clearly says that your moving about will become a wonderful family tradition. 

My kids are convinced you are dead. 

Does that sound like a fun family tradition?

Even though we have set the alarms on our phones to "remind" you to move, you still forget to relocate more often than I care to mention.

All I can say is come on man!  Enough is enough.

Get your red-tight-wearing-tiny-little-ass to a new spot tomorrow or else!  I'm gonna contact your boss, you know the big fat jolly guy, and demand a new elf.

Preferably one that isn't dead!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Update on my 2010 goals

In January I posted some ambitious goals for the new year.  Seeing as the year is about to end I figured now is a good time to review them and see how pathetic I truly am many I accomplished.

Let's review:

  1. Write MoreAccomplished!  I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote 50,000 words during the month of November.  This far exceeds the 10,000 I was shooting for.
  2. Craft More.  Accomplished! I crafted, but not as much as I wanted too.
  3. Yell less.  Failed.  I may be incapable of accomplishing this one.
  4. Eat Better.  Failed.    I want to mark this as accomplished but that doesn't feel honest.  However, I can say with utmost certainty that I eat healthier than all the other lunchladies in my building.
  5. Walk more.  Started out strong but then failed. I blame this on the fact that I lost my really cool pedometer.  I probably shouldn't admit this but since we are friends I feel like I can tell you--I jumped in the pool while wearing it and never found it again.  Sad but true.
  6. Eliminate some clutter.  FAILEDAnd yes...I am shouting.  It may be time to call in an expert and by expert I mean get one of those dumpsters and sit it in my driveway until I throw some shit out.
  7. Get organizedFailed.  Is it possible to be incapable of organization?  I mean I can't keep anything organized. Not my thoughts, not my kids, not my crafts.  Nothing.  Nada. Not even this blog post.
  8. Quality time.  Accomplished.  I set a goal of spending a little alone time with each kid and a little alone time with my husband once a month.  I'm not sure I accomplished this every month, but I did a lot better than I did in 2009.
  9. See Family.  Accomplished.  We saw my husband's family a lot more than we saw my family, but it wasn't for lack of trying. 
  10. Plan Some Day TripsAccomplished.  We went to Hershey and it was actually fun.  I went to a scrapbook convention with my mom outside of Washington.  Hubby and I spent a weekend in State College.  I went to the beach twice with friends.  We went to North Carolina for the Juvenile Diabetes walk.  I'm planning a day trip to a craft warehouse over the Christmas holiday and we will likely go to Christmas Wonderland in Lancaster too.
All things considered I didn't do too bad.  I'm looking forward to making a list and checking it twice this January.  Will I put get organized on again?  Only if I'm organized enough to remember too.

And quite frankly that isn't looking good.
Friday, December 3, 2010

Lessons from the Lunchlady - what I learned in the cafeteria this week

It's funny how much you can learn when you are forced to be in charged.  My stint as cafeteria manager continues as I learned this week that my boss cannot return until after the Christmas break.

That being said, I now have to handle the Christmas holiday meal; which includes stuffing balls.  I really don't like stuffing balls.  The good news is that a new sub will be helping me beginning Monday.  This, quite frankly, is the only news that is keeping me from drinking heavily.

I learned this week that kindergartners will stand at the condiment table until someone puts a rice krispy treat on their tray.  When asked why they didn't just get one and go they will say "I can't pick it up whiles I'm holding my food."  They will say this with a look on their face to indicate that they now believe that you have just asked them the most idiotic question of the day.

I learned that when working with two substitutes you need to be extremely specific.  For example, you can not say things like "Use a one ounce scoop and a two ounce cup and give the kids a heaping scoop of nacho cheese."  If you say that your sub will overflow the two ounce cups and say "That's what you said to do."

Really?  I said overflow the cheese cups that we are going to hand to 5 year olds after they have been in the warmer?  That's doesn't sound like something I would say.

I learned that just when you think you've heard everything your sub will berate a teacher right in front of her class because her students weren't in line properly.  You will then be forced to confront your sub and explain to her how to speak to people as if she were a 1st grade student.

I learned that after encouraging your sub to apologize to said offended teacher that they may write a note to said teacher that says things like "I am sorre that I was not nice."  You will then realize that your sub is functionally illiterate and that by reporting her to the administration you may have contributed to her likely termination.

This revelation will not make you feel like a good person, even though you did nothing wrong.

I learned that even after having one of the craziest days in the cafeteria to date that you can still be surprised.  In fact it is possible that the company who provides your milk will show up just as you are about to leave and indicate that they have to take your chocolate milk because, get this, it contains some eggnog.

Your heart will race trying to quickly ascertain as to whether or not you may just have inadvertently given eggs to a child with an egg allergy.  You will sigh with relief that you do not have an egg allergy in your building.

I learned that when chocolate milk is not offered at breakfast kids will cry.  They also will not take white milk and you will have to walk around the cafeteria making sure that everyone eating has something to drink.

After a week like this one, I learned that improvisation is a lunch ladies most vital tool.

What did you learn this week?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Checking things off my bucket list

My husband likes to plan surprise trips.  He took me to New York last year; this year we went to State College.  I know what your thinking.  State College?

It's hard for me to admit this, but until this past weekend I'd never been there. 

We went to the last Penn State game of the season.  It was cold, but it was still fun.

We acted like college kids all weekend.  We had a drink with pretty  much every meal and we didn't cook a thing.

Now I can cross Penn State game off my bucket list.

Tell me something simple that you'd like to cross off your bucket list before the end of the year.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm still alive

Drum roll.............

I completed my NaNoWriMo novel!

Even faced with a lot of crap out of my control, I managed to write more than 50,000 words during the month of November.

That being said, I also neglected my blog, and a lot of housework, forgot to feed the dog (don't worry he can use a few less meals) and decided to give up cooking.

All for the love of writing.

As for whether or not the story is any good, I can't say.  I love the characters I created.  In fact when one of them died unexpectedly in a car accident I was quite upset.  This story seemed to come to life for me.  Often I would sit at the computer, totally clueless as to what I was going to type and soon I would have 2000 more words. 

I had no idea how it would end and I'm happy with the way it turned out. 

December I will spend a lot of time editing and making sure I didn't change any one's name half-way through the piece.  But as for Nano, I may be addicted.  The entire experience for me was excellent.

I'll hopefully be back in the swing of things at this here blog starting December 1st!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lessons from the Lunchlady-What I'm thankful for

I am feeling quite thankful that I am officially on Thanksgiving break.  This includes Monday, which is the first day of antlered deer and when it comes to hunting around these parts we take shooting buck very seriously.

As long as I get the day off and don't have to shoot anything I'm okay with that.

Here's a short list of what I'm thankful for:

  • I am thankful for five days of unprocessed, non-government packaged food.
  • I am thankful that I don't have to fill the mop bucket.
  • I am thankful that I do not have to give anyone a cheese sandwich because their parents are incompetent and cannot remember to pay their lunch bill.
  • I am thankful that I do not have to wear a hairnet until Tuesday.
  • I am thankful that I am not "in charge" of anyone other than my children.
  • I am thankful that the only sarcasm I have to endure is that of my family.
  • I am thankful that for five blissful days I don't even have to consider what we are having for lunch tomorrow.
Of course, those are only the work related things.  I am also thankful for the health of my family, including my MIL who recently had surgery.  I am also thankful for extended family who will be joining us for turkey and for those who cannot.

And I am most thankful for my husband, who likes to cook!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 22, 2010

A HP7 review and a blog hop winner

This weekend I told Oldest G to see Harry Potter 7 part 1 at the theatre.  We went to this newly opened movie mega plex and I must say my seat was reminiscent of a roller coaster chair.  All I needed was a bar to drop down and then I would have started to get nervous.

If you haven't seen the movie or you are one of 20 people who have never read the book stop reading now.

HP7 is a tough book to turn into a movie.  So much happens in it and so much of what happens in it is heart-wrenchingly sad.

It opens with Voldemort and his army conversing about taking over the ministry of magic and how they will attempt to kill Harry when he is being moved from the Dursleys to a safe house.

Snape is there.

One of his coworkers is dangling from the ceiling.  She was a muggle arts teacher and Volemort has particular disdain for her.  The scene ends with her as snake food.

I was impressed with the screenwriter's ability to keep fairly true to the book.  Like I said there is an incredible about of detail in the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga.  Condensing it to a shorter format would be a incredibly difficult task.

That said, the movie is still 2 1/2 hours long and not all that action packed.

The scene where Hermione erases herself from her own parents memory is, as a mother, very sad.  I missed Harry's birthday celebration as it was a big deal in the novel and played little to no part in the movie.  I was glad that they still had the wedding. 

Mad Eye Moody's death was anti climatic compared to the death of Hedwig the owl. 

I did have one beef with the movie and it involves the kiss between Hermione and Harry.  The premise behind the kiss is basically there is a locket that our triumphant trio has been taking turns wearing.  They haven't been able to destroy it and it contains a piece of Voldy's soul. 

Because it has such a Frodo-like effect on Ron, Harry tells him that he needs to be the one to destroy it.  When they finally have the Griffindor sword in their possession, Harry opens the locket by speaking parsel-tongue to it. 

Ron was to whack it right away but unfortunately he lets it speak and it starts revealing all of his fears from inferiority to spiders to the fact that he thinks Hermione has chosen Harry.  In the image, black smoke and all, Harry and Herimone are speaking to Ron, confirming his fears.

It is in this puff of smoke, this hallucination, that Harry and Hermione kiss.  For some reason the director thought it necessary and even more hurtful to Ron to make them appear to be naked.


That was totally unnecessary and made the who scene awkward and yucky.

I realize these kids are in their 20s but most of the kids watching are not.

Other than that scene the entire movie was excellent.  I cried like a hurt child when Dobby died.  He was so happy to be surrounded by his friends.

On a completely separate note the winner of the bag of Hershey kisses is Dawn and Me & My Scrapbook Projects.  Shoot me an email Dawn and I will be sure to send you your candy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let's get hopping with the cricut card fairies

Welcome to another addition of the Cricut Card Fairy Blog Hop.  This moth we are practicing being thankful for all the blessings in our lives.  Something we should do more often than just Thanksgiving.

If you haven't done so in a while take a moment today to thank those around you for blessing you. 

With Thanksgiving on the mind the cricut card fairies have put together some awesome Thanksgiving/thankful themed crafty items. 

Along the way there will be opportunities for inspiration and blog candy.

Be sure to hop all the way through and leave comments on every blog.  Crystal the fearless leader of this fairy army will be giving away a BNIP Hello Kitty Cart to one lucky person who has commented on all the blogs.

My project consists of this incredibly cute turkey stamp.  I attempted to color him with some copic markers.  He is machine stitched to the card and then I added a bow.  It was a rather simple projected.  I had a rather busy week and didn't have as much time as I would have liked to spend on it, but I am happy with how he turned out.

Just for fun I added a matching candy box filled with caramel Hershey kisses.  These things are a chocolate lovers dream.  So Good!

I am thankful that you stopped by and as a small token of my appreciation I will send one commenter a bag of these delightful kisses.  If you've never had the caramel kind, you are in for a real treat.

Many Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving and have fun hopping.


If you would like to be a card fairy send an email to and get in the loop.  It's a great way to spread a little cheer all over the world.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Corona is Calling my name

I feel very blah.

I feel like putting on my pajamas and not taking them off until Monday morning.

I have had a long week.

I don't want to be in charge in the cafeteria anymore.  I just want to get back into a routine.  I am seriously tired of having substitutes in and out of the kitchen. 

I can no longer keep track of who is mad at me or who I am making mad.

I am tired of people asking me "What do you want me to do now?"

Along with all the joys of cafeteria work this week I also had four meetings to cover for the paper.  I attended three school board meetings and one township meeting.  I have concluded that the word budget should be four letters.  I hate writing budget stories.

As if I hadn't already been beaten down enough this week, the business manger at last nights meeting whom I thought I had a decent working relationship with, went all "no commenty" when I asked her how the district could even consider a 6.6 percent tax increase.

It's a small farming community and that type of tax increase would raise taxes by nearly $125 per household.

She blamed me for not attending the budget and finance meeting.  Said because I wasn't there whatever I wrote about the $2.7 million deficit would be "misinterpreted".  Um, either your short nearly 3M or your not.  It's hard to misinterpret that.  Besides that I'm convinced that these B&F meetings are held at 5:30 just to make them difficult to attend.

But no comment on a possible 6.6 percent tax hike just because you've had a long day and your mad at me about it. 

That's a hard pill to swallow.

Corona take me away.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Happy 70th birthday, Grammie G

We love you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving and the Inspector

Here's a little story about a school serving Thanksgiving.

It involves mass quantities of bits of turkey smothered in gravy.  It is important to note that this contains soy.  I know I was surprised too.

It includes magic mashed potatoes.  These little freezed dried pearls instantly turn into mashed potatoes when you add hot water.  And though the Naked Chef would disagree they are actually quite yummy. 

Because you can never have too many potatoes this meal also includes the sweet version--covered in brown sugar, stuffing from scratch and corn.

It involves an entire day of planning and if you are lucky a little extra help on serving day.

More than 2/3's of the entire school ate today.

More than 20 teachers ate today.

I have been acting manager in the cafeteria for the last 16 days.  Today, on the Thanksgiving meal, the state health inspector showed up to inspect the kitchen.


No.  I'm not kidding you.

But I'm happy to report that we were violation free!  NOT. ONE. VIOLATION.  Not a box on the ground, not a chart left unmarked, not a temperature out of line!

Thanksgiving and the Inspector.  It has a happy ending.
Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons from the Lunchlady

I've been a blog slacker as of late and for that I apologize.  It's been a while since I've posted what I've learned in the cafeteria and since I've been in charge for half a month I've learned even more.

  1. Kids will say the craziest things are the craziest times:  Recently I was serving pancakes with a sub who was pulling them out with tongs.  Occasionally the tongs would rip one of the pancakes.  When this happened to a kindergartner he looked up at me and said "Hey!  Miss W, did you bited my pancake?"  The superintendent was in the kitchen just in time for the remark.
  2. Lettuce doesn't last long unless you want it to:  If I want lettuce to last, it can't make it past three days.  If I don't need it, it last for a week.  What's up with that?
  3. It's okay to process a chicken but not stuffing:  Seriously, how many of you make your Thanksgiving stuffing from scratch?  Am I the only person thankful for Stovetop?  Imagine my face when I learned I would have to make the stuffing for our Thanksgiving feast from scratch for tomorrow's lunch.  Thank God for retired head cooks willing to help a girl out.
  4. No one uses recipes:  For example some of the head cooks put some kind of syrup in their sweet potatoes.  I thought you just added brown sugar.  Have you ever drained baked beans?  I don't drain them when I make them at home.   Who knew you had to drain them at school. 
  5. A brain is a terrible thing to waste: The amount of things one has to remember as a head cook is astronomical.  Order the bread, order the food, call for the milk, take into account the holidays, know how this effects the delivery schedule, pull out the breakfast for the next day before you leave, turn in the time cards or no one gets paid, divy out all the jobs, don't offend the substitutes (which is a lot harder than it sounds) take care of all the lunch accounts, feed the teachers.  This is just off the top of my head.
  6. Doing the job and not being paid for it.  I understand completely why my boss makes significantly more money than I do.  I wish I made her rate while I was filing in.
  7. Thanksgiving is wasteful:  I have visions of Indians watching from the stars as tomorrow the K-3 kids throw away more food than their tribe had in a year.  Most of the fresh stuffing balls, the turkey, the gravy and the corn will go down the garbage disposal.
  8. Stewed tomatoes.  Even though I know that most statistic are made up I can tell you that 95 percent of the K-3 students in my building do not like stewed tomatoes.  Apparently it is an Amish tradition to dump those little blobs of goo onto of your mac and cheese.  I know I never heard of that either.  Any who we serve them with mac and cheese and on Friday I offered them to only the students who wanted them.  Not very many takers.
  9. Bread, bread, bread:  It doesn't matter what I order we either have too much or not enough.
  10. PBJ:  Is it really necessary to offer both grape and strawberry.  If I dethaw more strawberry than grape than we need more grape.  If I dethaw more grape than strawberry than we need more strawberry.  If I dethaw the same of each, we run out.
More than ready for my boss to return.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo

I decided to take a chance this year and participate in NaNoWriMo.

I thought about it last year and then I waited too long and didn't do it.

This year I felt prepared.  Even excited.  I mean it's only 1667 words a day.  That doesn't sound insurmountable.  That doesn't sound too difficult.  I felt certain that I could accomplish that with the utmost frequency.

I was ready.

Since signing up in late October I've received numerous pep talks and I've loved each and every one of them.  I've also fallen in love with my characters.  Sometimes I don't want to stop writing about them.  There have been quite a few occasions when I have written well over 1667 words on that particular day.

I'm proud to tell you in this Week Two of NaNoWriMo I have written over 17,000 words.  In this Week Two where many others have given up.  I have continued.

I have written these words even though I'm acting manager at the cafeteria and have numerous reasons for being exhausted.

I have written these words even though I cut my finger on Monday on a irresponsibly placed steak knife (but we aren't talking about that).

I have written these words even though because of the Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving Day holidays my evening work schedule is all askew.  Instead of having two meetings, some weeks I have four!

I have written these words in between soccer practice, cheerleading practice and boy scouts.

I have written these words in the car, at the beach, near the soccer field and even at an occasional meeting.

I have written these words and even if I don't reach that 50,000 word goal, no one can take away the 17,000 I've already written.

Here's to 33,000 words more by the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why I have a love/hate relationship with Parent Teacher Conferences

image from Off the Mark

This week our school district is having parent-teacher conferences.  I have a serious love/hate relationship with these little pow wows. 

Things I love about them:

  • I get to meet with my kids teachers and I can judge for myself if my kids perceptions of them are accurate.  I know you will be shocked to learn that often these perceptions are quite askew, but what do you expect from a 7, 9 and 11 year old?
  • I get to see their desk.  Usually, I can pick Oldest G's desk out before anyone indicates which one it is.  Her organizational skills are questionable and usually a topic of discussion.
  • I get to hear at least one, if not a handful, of great things about them.
  • I get to ask difficult questions that I really don't need to know the answers too.  For example:  How do you inform students about the academic standards they're expected to meet? What kind of projects and assignments have you planned that will help my child meet higher academic standards?
Of course, what goes around comes around and I get to endure the following

  • Their teachers get to meet me usually after I've worked all day in the cafeteria.  I'm often wearing my uniform and sometimes I forget to remove my hairnet.  This, I'm sure, creates an endearing impression.
  • They get to see how organized I am and begin to realize that no matter how many times they check "keep desk neat" and "use time wisely" on the report card the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
  • I get to hear at least a handful of things my children "could work on".  These items usually include maintaining self-control, turning in assignments on time, reading, and not randomly weeping.
  • Teachers get to ask me questions that they most likely do not need to know the answers too like What skills would you like to see your child master academically this year? about the the ones you are teaching....

Is it wrong to say tie his shoes?  I'm having a real hard time with that one. 

How about read at grade level for my fourth grader? 

See my 6th grader's handwriting improve to the point of legibility?

 Ugh, I love/hate parent teacher conferences.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I have returned from my mental health seminar

My mental health weekend couldn't have come at a better time.

While I was enjoying some much needed alcohol and scrapbooking time, the cafeteria was realizing what it is like to run out of pizza and pudding.

I barely gave it a thought.

Especially after I opened my beer.

Yes.  It was chilly as demonstrated by my sister's "sitting on the deck" attire.  But who cares when you have a view like this from your living room.

Don't you think the ocean is really close to the house?
Almost a little tooo close.

There were actually nine of us...but D left before the photo.

Here's hoping a mental health weekend is in your not-too distant future.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why I am so ready to go to the beach with my girlfriends

I feel overwhelmed.

I feel like my battery is completely drained.

I feel like my hands are tied.

Here are a few reasons why...

  1. My boss had an accident.  The head cook had a car accident over the weekend and messed up her leg.  As you will recall I really don't like being in charge  That being said, I find myself running things again and realizing how little money I make.
  2. My MIL might be sick.  Again.  But I'm not ready to talk about that.
  3. My beach trip is THIS WEEKEND.  As much as I'm trying to have a 'it's not my problem' kind of attitude it is hard for me to say that.  I mean there are only three of us who feed the entire school.  With one already down for the count and the other one being a bus driver who has a very limited schedule, Friday is going to be a hellish kind of day.  Here's hoping the admin comes down to help.
  4. I have to meet with the superintendent.  Much to my surprise our district superintendent is visiting on Thursday and has decided that she wants to meet with me.  Why?  I have no freaking idea.  Should be interesting.
  5. I have nothing packed.  I am trying to pack for my trip.  I have no idea what to bring as we all usually email each other into a frenzy but this trip we are just all so spent that we haven't even the time to email.
  6. I am likely driving this beach trip and I really hate driving at night and on the highway.  I could let my friend J drive my new van but I still feel a little possessive of her.  After all I've only made two payments.
  7. Sprinkle in a little soccer practice, a little cheerleading practice and a few meetings for the paper and you now have an understanding what my evenings are like.
  8. And just because I'm a complete idiot I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) because I thought it would encourage me to get my tween novel done.
  9. NaNo is completely AWESOME and I highly recommend your participation.  That being said sometimes 1667 words a day is a mountain of a task.
How is your week going?
Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend Update: Happy Halloween

Here's hoping you had a spooktacular weekend filled with as much fun as we did.

Friday night we finally carved our jack-o-lanterns.  I think the kids did a nice job.  If you would have seen the rough draft and then the final product you would have seen a few modifications but for the most part the pumpkins stayed true to their design.

My husband was disappointed because he apparently want to make a hockey player pumpkin and his wife forgot to get him his own pumpkin.

There's always next year.

It was old school trick-or-treat in our neighbor hood.  We had to layer up as it was down right cold.  In the 30s.  We haven't had a Halloween that cold in quite sometime.

Also happening this weekend was my niece's birthday.  We couldn't stay for the entire event because TorTing was much more enticing to my kids.  E seemed to like our present.

I'm including this picture just because it makes me laugh.  Little G was so grossed out by the pumpkin slim.  He was ten times worse than the girls.  He wanted to wash his hands ever time he touched his pumpkin so I thought it was fitting to make it vomiting a little.

Middle G.  got a lot more soccer playing time this week.  That's about all I'm allowed to say about that.

Friends of ours came over to go trick or treating with us.  R is dressed like a bearded woman and C is dressed like a woman.  They were a freak show couple and I couldn't stop laughing at them the entire evening. 

After Trick or Treating we had a bon fire at the neighbors.  It was a lot of fun so we decided to do it again last night at a different house.  Again, a lot of fun.

Lastly, bearing in mind that my photos are outrageously out of order and that I'm not taking the time to fix them.  We also got to see our niece play soccer on Saturday, which was a lot of fun though I had just warmed up from our soccer game and didn't really want to sit outside again.

What did you do this weekend?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Posting new pics of old bulletin boards

Here are a few of the bulletin boards I made during the month of October.

Since I just started working on November boards I thought I'd share these 

This one is in the cafeteria (obviously) and if you look closely you may notice that the scarecrow is holding an apple and drinking some milk.  It's my favorite part.

We have a "food of the month".  October is Apple month.  November is Potato, which in my opinion is much harder.  This board is also in the cafeteria.

This board is in the hallway, between the computer classroom and the reading help classroom.  I recently put up two new boards in the computer room and I will try to post some pictures of those next week.
Friday, October 29, 2010

What I learned in the cafeteria this week

This week in the cafeteria I learned ALOT.

~Kids will say the darndest things. This week I heard one 2nd grader say to another 2nd grader "Hello my brother from another mother."  An aide was also asked by one kindergartner if she would move another kindergartner to a different table because "he has willy smelly bref."

~I don't care what the naked chef says freeze dried mashed potatoes rock.  At school we get these tiny little kernels of mashed potatoes in a bag.  You add water and in minutes you have mashed potatoes.  These aren't the flakes...these are magic mashed potato balls.

~It's my stem.  This was a phrase I said over and over on the day I decided to wear a jack-o-lantern shirt and a "stem" on my head. 

~Drop a tray day.  This week seemed like it was drop a tray day everyday.  I think we are going to have to start adding at least an extra five into the daily count to make up for the "Oh nos" and the "Ought ohs..."

~Kids know how to cheer you up.  Even on days when you think everyone around you SUCKS.  Little kids (and co-workers who care) can really cheer you up.

What did you learn this week?
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Keeping my face in the sunshine

Helen Keller once said "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow."

Today I am working hard at keeping my face in the sunshine.

I am taking the high road when I would rather yell a four letter word.

I am swallowing my pride and keeping my head held high.

I often tell my tweenager to remember that if you wouldn't say it to that persons face you shouldn't say it online. That is great advice. I should know, I said it.

Today, I'm following it. I'm keeping my face in the sunshine.

This blog post was inspired by Mama Kat. If you aren't visiting her, you should be.

Enjoy the sunshine.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A post that freaked me out

This post about a pedophile that stole a picture of this blogger's deceased child off her blog really freaked me out. 

I mean really freaked me out.

In fact, right after I read it I put a plug in onto my blog that prevents people from stealing awesome pictures of my kids like these.  And I'm urging you to put the same plug in on your blog

Middle G and Big G at the wedding

My sweet little boy scout

Because as much as we don't like to admit it.  Sometimes the people viewing our photos aren't the nicest of people.  Sometimes their intentions aren't the same as ours.

If you are using blogger add the plug in to a HTML/Java script gadget and put in on your blog.

<script language="JavaScript"> function click() { if ((event.button==2)
(event.button==3)) { alert(" \n\n Copyright Alert!")}}
document.onmousedown=click </script>

Do I think this is going to stop everyone?  Hardly.  Do I feel a little bit better knowing that I made it a tiny bit harder?  Yep.  I sure do.
Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Update: Weddings

As promised, here's my hippie picture. I think I may have missed my calling.
After our soccer game we drove about two hours for a family wedding. My husband's cousin got married in the mountains near this beautiful lake. The setting was gorgeous.

Don't we clean up nice?

Friday, October 22, 2010

What I learned in the cafeteria this week

Here's what I learned in the cafeteria this week:

  • Kids will do anything for a sticker.  Children in K-3 will actually eat their green beans if I give them a "prize".  Even if that prize is a Make Your Own Pizza sticker.
Cucumbers.  I love cucumbers and it makes me sad to think that some kids have never even tried them.  Surprisingly, I got many of them to try them this week; even more surprisingly many of them liked them.

Lunch lady love:  Little kids love everyone.  What happens to us as we grow that makes us look down on others?  Is this a learned behavior? Elementary kids love their teachers, love their custodian,  love their lunch ladies, and love their principal.  Everyone in elementary school can sing, can paint, can draw and wants to grow up and make the world a better place.  Elementary kids ROCK!

Eating outside. Kids love the opportunity to take their lunch down to the playground and eat.  Lunch aides do not like taking kids outside to eat.  All kids under 10 are terrified of bees.  All lunch aides are too.

Grown up dress up:  Grown ups who are willing to dress up for the Halloween Fun Fest are considered to be superheros with all kindergartners.  I was a hippie this year.  I'll post a picture on Monday.

What did you learn this week?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How much girl drama can a mama handle?

My oldest is almost 12.

It is hard for me to keep track of who is her friend, who used to be her friend, who is her frenemy, who is her enemy and who she thinks is cute.

I am at a complete loss as to how to help her.  I don't understand tween girls.

I don't like them.

They judge you by who you know, what you wear and who eats lunch with you.

I vividly remember how torturous "they" made my middle school years and I'm not ready for Oldest to have to endure this.  But I feel like my hands are completely and totally tied.

Even though these girls treat her like a tissue, she values their opinion more than mine.  If I tell her that she looks great in her new glasses, she thinks that I'm just saying that because I paid for them.  If the girl who fed her a dog biscuit last year says she like her glasses, oldest beams about it for three straight days.

Today there was bus drama.  Who sits with who and where they moved to after so-and-so got off the bus.  Who isn't talking to you, who is talking to you.  It makes your head hurt just trying to follow along.

"I have no friends," says oldest.  "No friends at all."

It hurts me to hear her say this and to not be able to fix it.

I have no answers

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Little G

Today my baby turns seven!  I can't believe that he is already in the 1st grade.  It seems like yesterday we were driving home from the hospital and stopping at Wendy's for a bite to eat. 

What can I say...he's the third and I was hungry.  We really did stop there on the way home with all three kids when Little G was about 20 hours old.

On my baby's 7th birthday I am posting seven bits of useful advise.  Maybe someday he'll read these words and realize just how smart his mama is.

  1. Girls do not have cooties.  In fact, many of them can swing a light saber better than some of the boys you know.
  2. School is not something to cry about.
  3. There are no monsters in your closet.  Really.  I checked.
  4. Chocolate bars are not a breakfast food.
  5. You likely will not find a job where you can be barefoot 24/7.  Shoes are just something you have to get used to.
  6. Girls love boys who make them laugh.
  7. There is a special spot in a mama's heart for her baby boy.
Happy Birthday Little G.
Friday, October 15, 2010

What I learned in the cafeteria this week

Here's what I learned in the cafeteria this week:

  • When you are in kindergarten it is possible to lose three coats in one week.  I had to laugh when I showed a little girl where the lost and found was and she found three of her coats.  Her response "My mommy is gonna be willy happy you showed me this place."
  • Manners are as out of date as Little House.  Remember when Laura used to say things like "Yes, Paw" and "Right away, Maw."  Now kids say things like "Where's my food?"  "I don't like that"  "Why do we have to have peas?"
  • If a student has a balance of negative $10.00 I'm required to serve him/her a cheese sandwich and a milk.  If a teacher has a balance of negative $10.00 I'm supposed to smile and serve them like there isn't a double standard going on here.
  • Folding towels is a billable activity in the cafeteria.  Creating bulletin boards for the computer room is not a billable activity in the cafeteria and must be removed from your time card...even if the principal asked you to do it. 
  • If you get your picture taken for the yearbook, the company will give you a free portrait package with a bunch of wallets and even a few 5x7s.  Do you think I should put them in my Christmas cards?

What did you learn this week?
Thursday, October 14, 2010

7 things that stress me out about birthday parties

My son turns 7 next Tuesday, which I can barely believe.  He's my baby and it's hard to see him so independent, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't glad that he can get himself some breakfast.

That being said his birthday party is this weekend and here are a few things that are stressing me out.

  1. My dad and step mom are coming as well as my mom and step dad.  I don't know about you but this makes for a Saturday Night Live skit.  Often times I find myself wondering how these strangers turned into my parents.
  2. Throw in some stepparents and add some in laws and now you really have a party.  The sad thing is that I see my in laws way more often than I see my own parents so I'm actually more comfortable around them.
  3. Years of birthday parties have taught me a few things.  Don't make them very long.  If you don't want to serve lunch or supper have them in the mid-afternoon.  Always have alcohol....not for the kids but for the grownups.
  4. Crafts and boys.  All of my kids, including my son, love to make crafts, color, paint, glue, use name it.  The problem is that I've come to find out that not all boys like to craft.  Little G wants to paint some ceramic dogs at his party.  I'm stressed thinking about handfuls of boys with paintbrushes in my kitchen.  I should probably put the real dog outside.
  5. Gift boxes.  For some reason I'm ALWAYS afraid that I'm going to run out of them.
  6. The cake.  This year my son wants me to make a dog cake.  I looked everywhere for a cake pan--no dogs--no bones.  I'm winging it with two heart shaped cake pans.  This may turn out disastrous.
  7. Presents.  Anyone else have too much crap?  I'm actually not sure I can take any more Lego's, cars, light sabers or Nerf guns.  I want to raise my children to be grateful and respectful and sometimes I feel like birthday parties teach ungratefulness and disrespect.
Of course, getting to watch my son blow out the candles, seeing his face when he opens that gift he "just had to have" and hearing him say "this was the bestest day ever" make me forget all the above.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Raising Hope: A recap

It has been a long time since I've re-caped anything on television.  I spent a lot time over the last few years writing recaps of LOST and since the big finale last May, I haven't recapped a thing.

Raising Hope is a new comedy on FOX.  I have seen all four episodes and they are snort out loud, gut wrenching funny. 

Here's the premise.

Jimmy is a dorky young adult who lives with his maw maw, his dad and his mom.  Maw Maw is off her rocker and is often half naked and thinks Jimmy is her dead husband.  In the pilot, Jimmy leaves the house to fetch some ice cream, ends up picking up some chick and gets a little lucky.

Turns out the girl is a serial killer and when she gives birth to Jimmy's baby on death row, Jimmy ends up with Hope, formerly known as Princess Beyonce.

Mom spends most of the first episode encourage Jimmy to drop the baby off at the fire department.

In this weeks episode, mom is reliving all of the terrible family photos they have had over the years.  Anyone who has ever been forced into a picture they didn't want to have taken can relate to this episode.

At once point, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.

If you watch this episode, you gonna wanna watch'em all.

Best new comedy of 2010!   Let me know if you agree.
Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Update: buried in laundry,a visit to Ren Fair, and saying goodbye

Dear Weekend,

Thank you for the beautiful fall weather.  I so enjoyed the crisp morning air and the gentle afternoon breeze. The fam and I had fun at the Ren Fair though I'm still not sure this is a family event.  Every time we go, I feel like I can no longer be surprised by people but then alas I am surprised.

Oldest in costume.

Middle wearing her new mask.

Little G got bat wings and a sword.

Pickles on a stick?

Sunday I spent most of the day doing 10 loads of laundry.  We were happy to be able to have lunch with my friend M and her family.  They are moving from New York to South Carolina.  This is going to make weekend scrapbooking trips significantly more difficult.

So thanks weekend! Thanks for the great weather, the fun company and the interesting entertainment.   And a big thank you for being one day longer than usual.

Happy to be home today,

Friday, October 8, 2010

What I learned in the cafeteria this week

Here's what I learned in the cafeteria this week:

  • A butt smacking good time.  I was walking up the stairs to fetch dirty silverware from the teacher's lounge when I felt someone whack me on the butt.  Who is it?  A second grader.  We promptly had a chat about what is appropriate and what is not.
  • Elementary school is a big place.  This week I found a 1st grader just standing at the bottom of the stairs crying.  She couldn't find her way to music.  We promptly had a chat about why standing alone crying is an ineffective solution to just about any problem.
  • Milketerian:  I had a little boy tell me at breakfast the he is a milketerian.  "That means I don't drink no milk," he said.  I explained that if a vegetarian eats only vegetables than a milketerian should only drink milk.  He just laughed at me.
  • Bulletin Boards:  Just when you think no one is noticing all the work you put into the decorations and the bulletin boards some little kindergarten says, "Those 'piders are scary" while pointing at the bats your co-worker hung.
  • Offer vs serve:  It is better to serve peaches to everyone and have them throw them away or is it better to offer the peaches and have no one take them?  "Is that applesauce?"  Really....what color applesauce do you eat at your house?
What did you learn this week?
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Jobs I Would Never Do

Imagine having to go into this house to kill all those roaches. No thank you. This makes anything I have to do in the cafeteria look like walking through a bed of roses.

Road kill cleaner. I'm glad there are people willing to do this. I am not one of them.

Sheep castrator. Again. Not. Doing. That! Makes you happy to see scrambled eggs in a bag.

Mama's Losin' It
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A birthday invite

I can't believe my baby will soon be 7.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend Update: Busy, busy, busy

We had a harried weekend filled with soccer, musicals and football.

On Friday, hubby and I went to see the high school game.  It started off pretty well, but then ended in a pounding.  We lost 40-13.

Saturday was a whirlwind.  I had to take Middle G to the doctors office to have some weird mouth sore of hers looked at. 

Then we had to leave shortly after lunch to get to her soccer game which was in BFE.  In case you were wondering we lost....AGAIN.  This time 8-0.

After that, the in-laws, the kids and hubby and I went to a sight-and-sound theatre to see a performance of Joseph.  It was really good, but a little long for the younger two kids.  Oldest really enjoyed it.

It started at 4:15 but wasn't over to close to 7 and we were all starving.  I don't know about you but I don't do well when I'm hungry.  I'm easily annoyed and quick to snap.

That evening we watched Penn State lose to Iowa.  Not a great football weekend.

Sunday I scrap booked a little and finished making Little Gs birthday invites.  I'll post a picture of them later this week.  He is having a dog birthday party.

We watched the Steelers gift wrap the football game and hand it over to the Ravens.  I HATE the Ravens.

Here's hoping you had a great weekend.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What I learned in the cafeteria this week

Here's a few things I learned in the cafeteria this week.

  • Dependent.  We are raising a very dependent generation.  I saw third graders just standing at the condiment table this week waiting helpless for someone to come along and put salad dressing on their salad.  Seriously?  Aren't you 9?
  • Hungry.  These kids are hungry for all the wrong things.  If you only eat the hot dog, You are going to be starving.  Why not take a fruit?  Why not try the beans?  Just because it looks different doesn't make it yucky.
  • Ice Tea and Soda. It's okay for some parents to send bottled iced tea and soda with their children to eat with their breakfast.  Are you serious?  Your kid is in the 2nd grade and you are teaching them to drink a Mt. Dew with their cinnamon rolls.  NOT ALLOWED.  Keep your high fructose corn syrup at home.
  • Reimbursable meals.  I'm certain that even if I work in the cafeteria for many years I will never understand the government guidelines that regulate meals.  How is it possible that a student can just take a side salad and a pbj?  What about milk?  Shouldn't that be required for all those not allergic?
  • Soy.  This little ingredient is going to be the death of me.  This week we found it in hot dog buns, bread, saltines, chicken nuggets, spaghetti shells, and processed government eggs.  Makes you wonder what else we are eating doesn't it?
What did you learn this week?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Writer's Workshop: Disappointed by a teacher

About four years ago, when oldest was in second grade, I noticed a bite mark on her and couldn't fathom in my mind where it came from.

The mark was on her inner thigh!

I asked her about it and she said, "Bobby" bit her at lunch.

My mind reeled.  How could that be?  If someone bit her at school surely the teacher would have called me or at least the nurse, right?

What in the world was "Bobby's" head doing near her va jay jay?

What was going on at lunch?  Was there no supervision?

I called the school the very next morning and asked to talk to the then principal.  He told me that it didn't warrant a phone call because no skin had been broken.

And something inside me snapped.

What about location?

Don't give me any bullshit about your privacy requirements.  My kid is 7 and knows who bit her.  I know he's currently in foster care and I'm concerned why I'm the only one upset about the fact that he bit my daughter on her INNER thigh.

I want you to mark her file with a big red notation that says if she is bit on any part of her body you are to call me.

Also I want to know what disciplinary action was taken and when my daughter can expect an apology.

Seriously....on her INNER THIGH

Mama's Losin' It
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday - two teeth in two weeks

Is it too late to make him a jack-o-lantern for Halloween?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Bashful Bowels of a Baby Buffalo named Betsy

Last weekend I took the kids to a school fundraiser that was all about Buffalo Poop.

I sounds like a Jeff Foxworthy joke but alas it isn't.

About 50 people gathered around a roped off area on the football practice field (I know that made me laugh too) to watch this baby buffalo named Betsy poop on a square.

The grid had already been laid in place and the names of those who participate, included me, had been randomly placed on the big master board.  We had a middle square and to outer edge squares.  I thought we had a good chance!

Betsy, on the other hand, decided that she preferred pooping in her trailer and not in an open field with lots of onlookers. 

Betsy apparently had bashful bowels.

Those of us on this grid, who paid $10 for three squares, were getting restless waiting for IT to happen.  After all, if Betsy picked your square then you won $400!  That's a lot of dough for a little poo.

And after waiting for more than 20 minutes, Betsy finally let lose and managed to land her patty in the center of a square, thereby avoiding any "The shit was on the line" controversy.

Unfortunately, it wasn't even close to my square.

Oh well, there's always next year.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This blog is sort of stretched . . . like butter that has been scraped over too much bread

Name the novel in which the main character announces that he feels like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.   That's me this week.  I'm overloaded and blogging can't be on the front burner right now. I promise to return shortly...even wittier than before.  Upon my return I will enlighten you with the following:

  • What it is like to attend a Baby Buffalo Patty drop
  • What I learned in the cafeteria
  • Why car shows aren't for children
  • What happens at an elementary open house
  • Why PTOs need your help and how not to kill most or all of their current members
  • Why writing headlines for the newspaper is a tricky job
  • What to say when a strange lady from NJ calls you and I'm not talking about JENNERS, and
  • How to pull out a lose tooth is less than 30 seconds.
Here's hoping you all have a wonderful week.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What I learned in the cafeteria this week

Another week, another $.32 cents.

Here's what I learned in the cafeteria this week:
  • We owe, we owe, it's off to work we go.  It is unethical to tell anyone, child or adult, that they owe lunch money.  Of course, once they become an adult and ignore their electric bill or their phone bill, someone will actually have to tell them.
  • Five Digits:  Expecting children to remember a five digit number is like expect grown ups to randomly buy you dinner.  Why is it unreasonable to expect a five year old to remember 16900....a number necessary to access their account at breakfast, as well as their computer account.
  • Allergies:  These buggers continue to plague the cafeteria and unreasonable parents who believe that packing their child a lunch takes away from the "full school experience" make things even harder.
  • Fruit:  Only 1 out of every 10 students actually takes a fruit.
  • Vegetables:  It is possible to make it to 3rd grade having never tasted cauliflower.
What did you learn this week?

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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